Governor Christie of New Jersey began National Teacher Appreciation Week by announcing the launch of new online initiatives to recognize the contributions of New Jersey’s 130,000 teachers. The state’s Department of Education website now features three new pages dedicated to honoring New Jersey teachers. The first is a video address to teachers by Acting Commissioner Chris Cerf. The second page is called Teacher Memories and allows New Jersey residents to submit memories of their favorite teachers as a special way to thank them. Lastly, the Teacher Spotlight intends to feature a new teacher each month to recognize their outstanding achievements in the classroom.
The RESPECT Project is an Obama Administration initiative to honor and elevate America’s educators through professional development and recognition for achievements. RESPECT stands for Recognizing Educational Success, Professional Excellence and Collaborative Teaching, and the project involves collaboration between the Department of Education and active teachers to determine the best methods of education reform. As part of National Teacher Appreciation Week, the Department of Education has released "The RESPECT Project: Envisioning a Teaching Profession for the 21st Century," to inform the public of the project’s efforts and emphasize the importance of teacher appreciation.
At Deptford High School in New Jersey, students are participating in Teacher Appreciation Week by writing heartfelt letters to the teachers who have had the most impact on their lives. Lou Randazzo, an English teacher at the school, started the project, which serves as an exemplary demonstration of teacher recognition. Not only are the letters personal ways of saying thank you, but they verbalize the importance of teachers and the impact they have on these students’ lives. “Kids come to you with so many different things, just looking for help and guidance,” Lou said. “You don’t always really realize the impact you have on your students’ lives. ... the letters were more insightful and emotional than I thought they would be.”
The National Coalition of Public School Options --- an activist group of parents, students and educators who support public school choice --- initiated the American Pioneer of Teaching Award to honor teachers who work in pioneering public schools, such as online and charter schools. This year’s winner is Paul Wuff, an Ohio Virtual Academy High School Intervention Specialist. Paul was awarded this distinction for his extensive work in reaching students across various education platforms, including online learning. "Helping students reach their goals by connecting with their individual skills and needs makes every day a fulfilling one," Paul said, "It is an honor to be recognized by NCPSO, which champions alternative learning options, as teachers across the country are celebrated this week."
To honor teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week, LYSOL has announced a national promotional sweepstakes that provides up to $50,000 in school supplies and LYSOL disinfecting wipes. The Healthy Classroom sweepstakes will run through September 14 and will give 100 teachers from around the country a chance to win a $500 gift card towards the purchase of classroom supplies. As per the company’s recent press release: “As part of the LYSOL® Mission for Health initiative, the sweepstakes is geared exclusively toward teachers in an effort to support good health and hygiene in schools. LYSOL® is further elevating the reach of this initiative through the promotional channels of the National Education Association. By helping provide teachers with the means to purchase much-needed school supplies, it is our hope they will encourage students to adopt healthy habits that can help to reduce the spread of germs in school and at home.”